Happy 1st Birthday, Techy Notes- 2/1/2020

It seems hard to believe- last year at this time, I was just considering writing a blog and maintaining a website. I was so afraid of putting my voice out there- I wasn't sure if people would pay attention to what I wanted to share. So I took a risk and created my website, Techy Notes. I was so nervous about it that before I shared it with the “world,” I sent a link to Sam Fecich, the moderator of the #EduMagic Twitter book study I had been participating in. Her feedback changed my world- she loved my blog/site. She wanted me to share my story. So I pressed Publish and sent my voice out into the world.

Since then, I have posted a blog post close to every week. Some months, I post more and some months, less. What hasn’t changed is my commitment to sharing my voice through my blog. It isn’t about if anyone reads it, it’s for me, the reflection I engage is invaluable. But apparently, people have been reading it and then fills my heart with joy. It has become a personal history book, documenting both struggles and triumphs.

So one year into my blogging journey, I have learned so many lessons and in honor of Techy Notes' birthday, I will share some of them with you.

1. Everyone has a story to share- don't be afraid to share it.

When I first sent my site/blog to Sam Fecich through Direct Message, she wrote back,

"Get it out of draft mode and put it out there for the world. More people need to hear your story. It is one of changing positions, supporting teachers and your excitement for edtech which is oozing off every page. I love it!

These words meant so much to me and propelled me forward. We all have a story to share. So many times, we are afraid to press the Publish button and don't take that leap. Posting a blog requires vulnerability and open reflection which can seem like a risk, but the rewards are worth it.

2. Blog for yourself first- but you never know who else will be inspired by it.

I definitely blog for myself- I love how it helps me to reflect and document my journey. When I look at how many posts I have published this year, it astounds me. This post is my 49th post on my blog since I began and if you include my upcoming post for the Teach Better Blog, my 50th blog post.

Yes, it has helped me as I went through the process but others have shared how they were inspired by it as well. For all of you who have shared how my blog has inspired you. Thank you so very much.

3. If you blog, you model digital leadership.

I just finished reading Social LEADia by Jennifer Casa Todd this week. In her book, Jennifer shares how important it is that we focus on seeing how blogging, texting, and tweeting on social media is real writing. We, as educators, need to model these platforms- show them authentic uses for writing. By doing this, we can provide our students opportunities to also engage in these mediums. Jennifer asserts,

Digital Leadership is using the vast reach of technology- especially social media- to improve the lives and well-being and circumstances of others.

By blogging, we create content to share with others in our PLNs but also show our students what online interactions should look and sound like.

4. You are not alone- there are communities of bloggers out there.

If you are blogging in isolation, you don't have to. There are so many blogging communities out there to support you. Currently, I am part of two communities: the pd4uandmebloggers and the EduBlogYear group. I love connecting with the other bloggers in these groups. Doing so helps me to see other content and learn from it. But more so, it helps motivate me to blog more regularly.

In addition to the communities, so many websites promote the sharing of blogs. I have also been posting my content to the Teachers on Fire magazine since November. Tim Cavey does a fantastic job of sharing educators' voices through this magazine on Medium. He isn't the only one. Lots of bloggers feature guest blogs as well.

5. Sharing your learning with others is so powerful.

George Couros shares that not only educators need to be master learners, but they need to reflect on how their new learning will impact their learners. Blogging helps us do this in a seamless way. We share what we learn and make connections to our practice. It is where application meets the learning. Every book I read, lesson I teach, and experience I have impacts my teaching and blogging gives me a wonderful platform to share all this.

Creating a website/blog is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It makes me a better educator and I am so thankful that one year ago today, I took that leap. I can't wait to see what happens as I enter my second year of blogging. For everyone who has encouraged me, liked or commented about my posts, or retweeted by my posts, thank you- it means so much to me.

If you are thinking of taking this leap and haven't yet- GO FOR IT! You will be so glad you did:)